Sunday, 20 April 2014

Faustine Steinmetz

When I was asked by friend and photographer Emma Pilkington to style an editorial for Pitch Zine based around the brand Faustine Steinmetz, I excitedly replied, "ooh the ones with the fluffy denim!". Admittedly, this was selling the brand rather short. It's a little more than just some fluffy denim. 'Each fabric is solely handwoven by one person using one of their traditional handlooms'. It's this process that means Faustine Steinmetz creates some of the most innovative, creative, and technical fabrics out there.

The aforementioned 'fluffy denim' (AW13)

A shining example of what they are able to create is this copper blend fabric which features in the most recent collection. The copper enables the fabric to be moulded and manipulated to retain any given shape. This amazing malleable quality means the brand take the humble jeans into a whole new territory, and this is exactly Steinmetz's concept. "We reproduce iconic pieces, the kind everyone has in their wardrobe at one stage, except we make them by handI always work around iconic pieces, the main one is the denim obviously but this season I also worked around the trench, backpack and tracksuit. I am not interested in designing a great silhouette or beautiful clothing, to me what is interesting is the object everyone knows inside out. It might as well be a clock, it would be the same process and same result to me, I treat garments as if they were objects". 



AW14

Unfortunately, when dropping the garments back to their bright and airy studio in East London (and being very warmly welcomed by their resident Pomeranian!) I wasn't able to witness anything in the making. The website, however, does offer an insight into the intricate production process in the form of the 'Making' video, which takes you through from dyeing, to weaving, to hand stamping and hand stitching labels. Additionally, the #myfaustinesteinmetz section of the site allows customers to input the code of their garment in order to see images from the production of that particular piece, so as to offer a greater understanding of the process behind it. 

Steinmetz confesses she will sit in front of her smallest loom from the morning until the sun sets as this is her favourite part of the process. It's all about research and sampling, sampling, sampling in order to create the next incarnation of denim. And why the need for new fabrics and textures? "If you go around the shops everything is so flat. I hate that."


Here's a look at the editorial we shot for Pitch Zine, featuring pieces from AW13, SS14, and AW14. 

Photographer: Emma Pilkington, Stylist: Sophie Benson,
Hair & Make-up: Gemma Hands, Model: Beth @ Industry